Featured Poems

Woolworth’s, 1970

by on May 27, 2018 :: 0 comments

She remembers the lunch counter
in her grandmother’s city,
half a day’s drive on backroads
to smaller towns in Canada.

She didn’t remember anyone black
at the counter or in the stores.
She remembers ordering a hamburger
like Grandma did, never looking
at the cracked, greasy menu.

She remembers cages
of green parakeets,
the thick smell of popcorn,
heaps of butts and ash
in the ashtrays on the counter.
“The Long and Winding Road”
billowed out from the record shop
speakers like curtains in the summer.

She wonders how different
this Woolworth’s was
from Greensboro’s in 1960.
She thinks to ask her grandmother
but knows she never will.

editors note:

Color recalled in no color. – mh clay

The Fall of An Ancient Order

by on May 26, 2018 :: 0 comments

the Masons released a demon
in Salina, Kansas
captive at the Temple
of fez-hatted ghosts
hostage of chicken little
the sky isn’t falling fast
enough – ghost hope
into the daystar
a reaving we will go
you men of wolves
into the distant light
into the skyward stair
on constant horizon
of cubic existence and
flat world mentality
spin the dome for
stereographic poetry
church of word
Godspell
waving snakes and eating
the flesh of their God
tipping goblets of blood
at 30 silver pieces
nonrefundable

editors note:

A rare reaving; riches rendered into something greater than 30. (We welcome Chigger to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of his madness on his new page – check it out.) – mh clay

SIGNAGE

by on May 25, 2018 :: 0 comments

The mainline downtown parishes
Think it undignified
But you see along the road to Durham
Small churches with signs out front,
Some electronic these days
But most where you put up letters
One at a time
Like a 1940s theater marquee.
You wonder about the sources,
Magazines, newsletters, I guess,
The internet these days,
Some bromide
(God will accept broken hearts
But he must have all the pieces
Or Gossip is the Devil’s radio—
R U his DJ?)

Or to announce the next revival.
I noticed one near Mebane,
Just after New Year’s:
Pray hard for Lucas, it said.
But then they took it down.

– Robert Demaree

editors note:

What would your sign say? For whom do you pray? – mh clay

Haiku Trio

by on May 24, 2018 :: 0 comments

I.

Goblins under oath
Lie like priests in a brothel
Without shame or clothes.

II.

Vampires and moths die
Betrayed by flames and sunlight—
Church, cross, candle ire!

III.

Adam’s maker schemed
Forbidden apples for Eve,
A snake accomplice.

– Eneida Patricia Alcalde

editors note:

This is one tripped out trinity; goblin, moth and lying snake. Amen-not! – mh clay

Drudgery

by on May 23, 2018 :: 0 comments

Most days she imagines the broom
Is a pen,
The lino floor a blank page begging
To be filled,
And most days she fills the vacant
Space with words
She has constructed from dust and the
Left over feelings of motherhood.
Not the long drawn out words of the
Oxford English dictionary
But the short blunt industrial words
Of her youth.
And now and again she wonders what
It would be like to be heard,
To be listened to, her innermost thoughts
Acquiring a voice
That could rise above the bombastic roar
Of the vacuum cleaner,
Negating the monotony of the washing
Machine and it’s
Seemingly endless wash rinse cycle
Of all her days.
She replaces the broom with a mop
The damp head
Swiping away the words the space so
Brazenly craved
And at mid day every day she opens
The first bottle
And for a short while the clock calls time
On her drudgery.

editors note:

If she can’t speak, the bottle (and the bard) will speak for her. – mh clay

Outcasts

by on May 22, 2018 :: 0 comments

We’re back but not bent
On the bottom list

Darker down here
Stars brighter

Easier to walk streets
Unnoticed and malnourished

Scribbling notes with a sharp pencil
Ignoring background traffic

Our brains on lines of poetry
Words and feelings struggling

On breaths of hopeful wisdom
Never knowing if we’ve started a riot

Robot flesh still kicking us aside
Deleting our factual history

A one-world-click
Ultimate maze of misery

They pass us blindly fixed
As we taste the final fruit of Spirit

They snake higher up their skyscrapers
For a longer lean into a fall

Funny how the few of us
Outcasts to oracles

Usually end up in silence
Sitting on a mountaintop

On breaths of hopeful wisdom
Never knowing if we’ve started a riot.

editors note:

Prophets or perpetrators; maybe one in the same? We may not know, but we hope so. – mh clay

My Name is Fear

by on May 21, 2018 :: 0 comments

My name is fear.
Yes, I am that guy.
My name is fear and I have a complaint,
A bone to pick with all the talks of blame
That label me a straitjacket,
a restraint, a limit,
an enemy to conquer,
a hurdle to sprint over,
a goddamn stumbling block,
handcuff of dreams,
a black pit consuming your leap of faith-
heard enough, I want to set the record straight.
I am an emotion, nothing more, nothing less.
I am a feeling, timeless, ageless,
Yet a tiny tot who knows nothing–
About that untrodden path you are taking,
About that market that may rise or crash,
About ‘hey, is that pimple a rash?’
About the truth that you want to say
With all conviction keeping silence at bay.
I am just a warning for you to prepare,
to not clutch at straws, gasping for air
when outcomes flood and leave you adrift.
I am a newsflash, a headline, a paradigm shift.
What I am not is an excuse
To favour silence over conscience,
guilt over redemption,
defeat over protest,
sticks and stones over life,
hate over basic understanding, forget love.
My name is fear- I am an imperfect argument,
Not to be ignored, but to embrace
Not to be blindly followed, just to be reasoned with.
My name may be fear but you are stronger than me.
My name is fear but you are better than me.
My name is fear and you need not fear me.

– Adithya Nair Satheesan

editors note:

So, if we take away our capitalization, it must bow to capitulation? (see what we saw yesterday) – mh clay